To know where Prada is heading for womenswear, insiders know to look at the menswear show that precedes it. The two are always inextricably linked; the influences raised in one show can be traced to the other. So when Miuccia Prada showed a horror-driven, Frankenstein-themed presentation for Fall/Winter 2019 menswear – trading on the idea that men either are or make monsters, or at the least enable monstrous behavior – we expected the concept to bleed over. It did.
With models styled like Wednesday Addams (with her austere, iconic braids) and the kitschy Frankenstein print from menswear resurrected (pardon the pun) for womenswear, the carryover was clear.
Despite her tendency to subvert the expected, and her eagerness to take that which is beautiful and rip apart until conventionality has been entirely displaced, Prada still arrives at some heartstopping looks. She manages, consistently, to advance the language of her brand, with a devil-may-care attitude. What everyone else is doing is no concern of hers. For Fall/Winter 2019, her creations are off-kilter, and odd, but no less pleasing to the eye. Three-dimensional flowers wilt down the front of sublimely printed dresses – actualizing the concept of changing mediums.
As the most intellectual designer working in fashion, Miuccia Prada sometimes stands at odds with the establishment.
Prada also realized the Frankenstein concept by collaging together wool vests with thick nylon sleeves – two disparate pieces coming together to create a whole. Other looks were cobbled together from nylon, lace, and macramé. Occasionally, they were complimented by rubberized leather with big lurid flowers printed on them. Her cinched herringbone dress was especially cool, as were her Matrix-like wool coats and deconstructed evening dresses.
As the most intellectual designer working in fashion, Miuccia Prada sometimes stands at odds with the establishment. In a recent interview with Business of Fashion, she articulated her frustration, saying, “The major subject I am facing intellectually is the lack of honesty. In politics, in fashion, in art, there’s too much pleasing.” But in fashion, if you don’t please, you don’t sell. There is a fine line between provocation and alienation. She treads it carefully.